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Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX (i7-8750H, RTX 2080 Max-Q) Laptop Review

Second wind. The thinnest 15.6-inch laptop with RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics is a visual delight. For $2500, however, the Asus Zephyrus S GX531 could have at least included per-key RGB lighting and Thunderbolt 3.
(Source: CUKUSA.com)
(Source: CUKUSA.com)

The Zephyrus S GX531 series is a direct successor to the original GX501 series. It carries all the unique features of the GX501 including the scissor-door hinge design, two-stage contrasting anodized surfaces, and forward keyboard position. This time, however, the GX531 incorporates narrower bezels with GeForce RTX Turing graphics to supplant the last generation GTX Pascal series.

Aside from the GPU update, everything else about the GX531GX we have here today is identical to the GX531GS and GX531GM SKUs we already reviewed last year. We therefore recommend checking out our existing reviews on the two other GX531 configurations for more information on the chassis and its features.

Current SKUs of the RTX-equipped GX531 include the GX531GX (RTX 2080 Max-Q), GX531GW (RTX 2070 Max-Q), and GX531GV (RTX 2060). All options otherwise come with the same 1080p 144 Hz 3 ms display and Core i7-8750H CPU.

The Zephyrus S GX531GX competes directly with other 15.6-inch ultra-thin gaming laptops including the MSI GS65, Razer Blade 15, Acer Predator Triton 700, and Alienware m15. Asus is positioning its flagship GX531 series a step above its mid-range Zephyrus M GM501 series and the mid-range GL504/GL704 series.

More Asus ROG Zephyrus reviews:

Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX (Zephyrus S GX531 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i7-8750H 6 x 2.2 - 4.1 GHz, Coffee Lake-H
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q - 8192 MB, Core: 835 MHz, Memory: 1538 MHz, GDDR6, 419.67, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2666, 19-19-19-43, Dual-Channel (8 GB soldered + 8 GB SODIMM)
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, AU Optronics B156HAN08.2, IPS, AUO82ED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake HM370
Storage
Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8, 512 GB 
Soundcard
NVIDIA TU104 - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo
Networking
Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.75 x 360 x 268 ( = 0.62 x 14.17 x 10.55 in)
Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (720p)
Additional features
Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Armoury Crate, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.1 kg ( = 74.08 oz / 4.63 pounds), Power Supply: 553 g ( = 19.51 oz / 1.22 pounds)
Price
3000 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

379 mm / 14.9 inch 262 mm / 10.3 inch 17 mm / 0.669 inch 2.3 kg4.96 lbs361 mm / 14.2 inch 262 mm / 10.3 inch 26 mm / 1.024 inch 2.5 kg5.41 lbs361 mm / 14.2 inch 246 mm / 9.69 inch 24.4 mm / 0.961 inch 2.4 kg5.29 lbs363 mm / 14.3 inch 275 mm / 10.8 inch 21 mm / 0.827 inch 2.2 kg4.76 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 268 mm / 10.6 inch 15.75 mm / 0.62 inch 2.1 kg4.63 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 17.8 mm / 0.701 inch 2.1 kg4.63 lbs

Communication

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
684 MBit/s ∼100% +3%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
683 MBit/s ∼100% +3%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
661 MBit/s ∼97%
Asus Strix GL504GM
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
657 MBit/s ∼96% -1%
Aorus 15 X9
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
645 MBit/s ∼94% -2%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus Strix GL504GM
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
675 MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
655 MBit/s ∼97% +2%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
644 MBit/s ∼95%
Aorus 15 X9
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
622 MBit/s ∼92% -3%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
413 MBit/s ∼61% -36%

Display

Asus uses the same high quality AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 IPS panel for both the Zephyrus S GX531 and ROG GL504. Last year's GX531GS is equipped with the exact same panel as well. These three laptops subsequently share similar response times, color coverage, 144 Hz refresh rate, and contrast ratios between them. Response times in particular are significantly faster when compared to the older AU Optronics Panel on the GX501 for reduced ghosting when gaming.

The display is slightly grainy and so it's not as clean or sharp as a glossy alternative. This disadvantage is not uncommon on most matte panels. There is minor backlight bleeding along the bottom edge of our test unit that's mostly unnoticeable.

No 4K UHD or edge-to-edge glass options
No 4K UHD or edge-to-edge glass options
Narrow bezels similar to the ROG GL504 series
Narrow bezels similar to the ROG GL504 series
Light-moderate backlight bleeding along bottom edge
Light-moderate backlight bleeding along bottom edge
Subpixel array
Subpixel array
308.1
cd/m²
313
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
313.6
cd/m²
323.6
cd/m²
314.5
cd/m²
313.5
cd/m²
329.5
cd/m²
316.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 329.5 cd/m² Average: 314.6 cd/m² Minimum: 17.75 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 323.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 1116:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.31 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.8, calibrated: 2.73
ΔE Greyscale 2.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6
91.8% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 59.7% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.29
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Aorus 15 X9
LG Philips LP156WFG-SPB2, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
AU Optronics B156HAN, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
LG Philips LGD05C0, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Asus Strix GL504GM
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Asus Zephyrus GX501
AUO B156HAN04.2 (AUO42ED), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
-73%
-91%
-81%
-10%
-314%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
7 (3.6, 3.4)
15.2 (8.4, 6.8)
-117%
18 (9.2, 8.8)
-157%
16.8 (9.2, 7.6)
-140%
7.8 (4.4, 3.4)
-11%
40.4 (23.2, 17.2)
-477%
Response Time Black / White *
9.6 (4.4, 5.2)
12.4 (7.6, 4.8)
-29%
12 (6.8, 5.2)
-25%
11.6 (7.2, 4.4)
-21%
10.4 (5.2, 5.2)
-8%
24 (11.6, 12.4)
-150%
PWM Frequency
Screen
3%
-12%
0%
-11%
-26%
Brightness middle
323.6
305.1
-6%
353.6
9%
314.7
-3%
350
8%
328
1%
Brightness
315
295
-6%
346
10%
312
-1%
338
7%
305
-3%
Brightness Distribution
91
78
-14%
86
-5%
90
-1%
90
-1%
83
-9%
Black Level *
0.29
0.33
-14%
0.3
-3%
0.38
-31%
0.33
-14%
0.25
14%
Contrast
1116
925
-17%
1179
6%
828
-26%
1061
-5%
1312
18%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.31
2.58
22%
4.55
-37%
2.56
23%
4.3
-30%
6.02
-82%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.74
4.32
25%
7.91
-38%
4.89
15%
7.78
-36%
10.14
-77%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.73
1.33
51%
3.37
-23%
1.71
37%
2.83
-4%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.9
3.4
-17%
4.1
-41%
3.4
-17%
4.4
-52%
6.32
-118%
Gamma
2.29 96%
2.28 96%
2.27 97%
2.3 96%
2.26 97%
2.28 96%
CCT
6765 96%
6374 102%
7434 87%
6435 101%
7517 86%
8194 79%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59.7
60.7
2%
57.9
-3%
60.7
2%
60
1%
60
1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
91.8
95.2
4%
88.9
-3%
94.6
3%
92.5
1%
92
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-35% / -9%
-52% / -24%
-41% / -12%
-11% / -11%
-170% / -74%

* ... smaller is better

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB

X-Rite colorimeter measurements reveal an accurate display out of the box. Each unit is "Pantone Validated" to suggest at least some level of factory calibration before shipment much like on the Gigabyte Aero 15 series. Our own calibration attempts do improve grayscale and colors even further, albeit just marginally.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
9.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.4 ms rise
↘ 5.2 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
7 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3.6 ms rise
↘ 3.4 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 6 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 17878 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

Since the display brightness is about average for a 15.6-inch gaming laptop (~300 nits), outdoor visibility is not any better or worse than the competition. Colors become washed out if not working under shade and glare will still be present despite the matte panel. It's worth noting that the maximum lid angle is quite narrow at just ~120 degrees to limit viewability.

Outdoors on a cloudy day
Outdoors on a cloudy day
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors on a cloudy day
Outdoors on a cloudy day
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The Core i7-8750H CPU, 8 GB of soldered DDR4 RAM, and 1080p144 matte display are fixed across all current SKUs while the GPU can range from the RTX 2060 to the RTX 2080 Max-Q. Users who want standard non-Max-Q RTX 2080 options should take a look at the thicker Asus ROG G703 series which offers multiple storage bays and Core i9 options.

Optimus is integrated for switching to the Intel iGPU when needed. As a result, G-Sync is not available.

 

Processor

CPU performance is within 1 percent of the average Core i7-8750H CPU in our database taken from 80 other laptops. In other words, the CPU in the GX531 is performing exactly where we expect it to be. Note that the laptop must be set to Turbo Mode through the Asus Armoury Crate software if you want the full performance of the CPU. When running the same CineBench R15 Multi-Thread benchmark on Balanced Mode, for example, the final score is lower compared to Turbo Mode (1007 points vs. 1122 points).

Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop reveals better Turbo Boost sustainability than the Razer Blade 15. The CPU performance gap is almost 17 percent after accounting for processor throttling between the two laptops. Even so, the Alienware m15 still has the upper hand at maintaining faster clock rates than both the Asus and Razer with the exact same processor.

See our dedicated page on the Core i7-8750H for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R15
CineBench R15
CineBench R15 (Turbo mode)
CineBench R15 (Turbo mode)
010203040506070809010011012013014015016017018019020021022023024025026027028029030031032033034035036037038039040041042043044045046047048049050051052053054055056057058059060061062063064065066067068069070071072073074075076077078079080081082083084085086087088089090091092093094095096097098099010001010102010301040105010601070108010901100111011201130114011501160117011801190120012101220Tooltip
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1072 (986.63-1110.9)
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1164 (1146.3-1213.67)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø922 (913.2-999)
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1004 (937.73-1119.73)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
Intel Core i9-9900K
207 Points ∼92% +23%
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Core i9-8950HK
206 Points ∼92% +23%
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
Intel Core i7-8565U
191 Points ∼85% +14%
Aorus X7 DT v8
Intel Core i7-8850H
182 Points ∼81% +8%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (163 - 177, n=86)
172 Points ∼77% +2%
Asus FX504GD
Intel Core i5-8300H
170 Points ∼76% +1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
168 Points ∼75%
Asus TUF FX505DY
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
145 Points ∼65% -14%
Asus Strix GL703VM-DB74
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
142 Points ∼63% -15%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
Intel Core i9-9900K
1979 Points ∼45% +76%
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1312 Points ∼30% +17%
Aorus X7 DT v8
Intel Core i7-8850H
1276 Points ∼29% +14%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
1122 Points ∼26%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (863 - 1251, n=93)
1113 Points ∼25% -1%
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
Intel Core i7-8565U
815 Points ∼19% -27%
Asus TUF FX505DY
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
757 Points ∼17% -33%
Asus Strix GL703VM-DB74
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
714 Points ∼16% -36%
Asus FX504GD
Intel Core i5-8300H
609 Points ∼14% -46%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
168 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1122 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
111.27 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks are nearly identical to other high-end gaming laptops including the Blade 15, Alienware m15, and Aorus 15. its Digital Content Creation score, however, is a bit lower than expected. We otherwise did not experience any software or hardware issues on our test unit.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Aorus 15 X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
8408 Points ∼65% +26%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (6690 - 8470, n=6)
7394 Points ∼57% +11%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6708 Points ∼52% 0%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
6690 Points ∼52%
Asus Strix GL504GM
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
6551 Points ∼51% -2%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
6396 Points ∼49% -4%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
6272 Points ∼48% -6%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
5970 Points ∼46% -11%
Productivity
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
7793 Points ∼75% +5%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
7754 Points ∼74% +4%
Asus Strix GL504GM
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
7592 Points ∼73% +2%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7547 Points ∼72% +2%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
7434 Points ∼71%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (7236 - 7487, n=6)
7395 Points ∼71% -1%
Aorus 15 X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
7299 Points ∼70% -2%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
7162 Points ∼69% -4%
Essentials
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (9042 - 9607, n=6)
9316 Points ∼81% +3%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
9042 Points ∼79%
Aorus 15 X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
8943 Points ∼78% -1%
Asus Strix GL504GM
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
8897 Points ∼78% -2%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
8875 Points ∼77% -2%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
8770 Points ∼77% -3%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
8517 Points ∼74% -6%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
7369 Points ∼64% -19%
Score
Aorus 15 X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5870 Points ∼72% +7%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (5492 - 6053, n=6)
5721 Points ∼71% +4%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5492 Points ∼68%
Asus Strix GL504GM
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
5463 Points ∼67% -1%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5426 Points ∼67% -1%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5416 Points ∼67% -1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
5170 Points ∼64% -6%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
5125 Points ∼63% -7%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Aorus 15 X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5828 Points ∼88% +10%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
5706 Points ∼87% +8%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5607 Points ∼85% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (5289 - 5882, n=3)
5596 Points ∼85% +6%
Asus Strix GL504GM
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
5474 Points ∼83% +3%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5407 Points ∼82% +2%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
5289 Points ∼80% 0%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5289 Points ∼80%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus Zephyrus GX501
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
5057 Points ∼83% +27%
Aorus 15 X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
4843 Points ∼79% +22%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
4620 Points ∼76% +16%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (3979 - 5107, n=3)
4454 Points ∼73% +12%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4418 Points ∼73% +11%
Asus Strix GL504GM
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
4362 Points ∼72% +10%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4150 Points ∼68% +4%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
3979 Points ∼65%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3979 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5289 points
Help

Storage Devices

There is only one internal storage slot compared to two or more on most other 15-inch gaming laptops like the Aorus 15 or Asus' own GL504 series. The 512 GB Intel SSD 660p on our unit is a budget NVMe offering in contrast to the pricier Intel SSD 760p. Sequential read and write rates are still at least two times faster than any SATA III SSD but nowhere near the performance of a Samsung SSD PM981.

See our table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM 5.5
CDM 5.5
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
Aorus 15 X9
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Asus Strix GL504GM
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
AS SSD
40%
83%
20%
50%
Copy Game MB/s
811.76
1070.93
32%
1200.14
48%
1087.7
34%
Copy Program MB/s
702.66
404.34
-42%
525.53
-25%
752.17
7%
Copy ISO MB/s
1236.22
1328.83
7%
1974.98
60%
1006.21
-19%
Score Total
1654
2544
54%
4079
147%
2233
35%
3294
99%
Score Write
910
859
-6%
2010
121%
724
-20%
1515
66%
Score Read
492
1116
127%
1362
177%
1007
105%
1161
136%
Access Time Write *
0.047
0.031
34%
0.033
30%
0.045
4%
0.036
23%
Access Time Read *
0.073
0.049
33%
0.047
36%
0.072
1%
0.129
-77%
4K-64 Write
721.96
584
-19%
1717.43
138%
520.16
-28%
1285.25
78%
4K-64 Read
322.05
868.5
170%
1125.76
250%
832.2
158%
1030.22
220%
4K Write
95.65
119.55
25%
110.72
16%
96.46
1%
103.63
8%
4K Read
45.74
56.55
24%
52.31
14%
32
-30%
40.02
-13%
Seq Write
920.07
1553.41
69%
1822.26
98%
1071.18
16%
1260.72
37%
Seq Read
1238.57
1912.12
54%
1839.67
49%
1432.81
16%
903.24
-27%

* ... smaller is better

Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 1666 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 976.7 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 296.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 259.4 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1425 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 974.3 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 46.29 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 93.92 MB/s

GPU Performance

3DMark results are within a few percentage points of the standard GTX 1080 or RTX 2070 for laptops. When compared to the last generation GTX 1080 Max-Q in the older GX501, the RTX 2080 Max-Q can be 17 to 45 percent faster. The performance delta between the two GPUs becomes greater at higher resolutions and when DX12 is enabled.

The standard RTX 2080 for laptops is still about 25 to 30 percent faster than the RTX 2080 Max-Q. We can observe no recurring frame rate dips when running Witcher 3 to suggest no interrupting background activity when gaming.

Remember to set the laptop to Turbo Mode through the Armoury Crate software if you want the full performance of the GPU. When running 3DMark Time Spy on Balanced Mode, for example, the GPU score is only 7376 points to represent a performance dip of almost 10 percent.

See our review on the Nvidia Turing series and our dedicated page on the RTX 2080 Max-Q for more benchmark comparisons.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
Time Spy
Time Spy
Port Royal
Port Royal
3DMark DLSS (1440p)
3DMark DLSS (1440p)
3DMark
2560x1440 Port Royal Graphics
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, i9-9900K
5852 Points ∼62% +30%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (3698 - 5295, n=19)
4531 Points ∼48% +1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H
4495 Points ∼48%
Aorus 15 X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H
4276 Points ∼45% -5%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
3679 Points ∼39% -18%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-8750H
3020 Points ∼32% -33%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), R7 2700X
11099 Points ∼74% +36%
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, i9-9900K
10720 Points ∼71% +31%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H
8171 Points ∼54%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (6464 - 8844, n=19)
7903 Points ∼53% -3%
Aorus 15 X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H
7754 Points ∼52% -5%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
6728 Points ∼45% -18%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-8750H
5783 Points ∼39% -29%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ
5636 Points ∼38% -31%
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), R7 2700X
6379 Points ∼63% +32%
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, i9-9900K
5993 Points ∼59% +24%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H
4833 Points ∼48%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (4039 - 5238, n=16)
4749 Points ∼47% -2%
Aorus 15 X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H
4596 Points ∼45% -5%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
4124 Points ∼41% -15%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ
4048 Points ∼40% -16%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-8750H
3351 Points ∼33% -31%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), R7 2700X
27228 Points ∼67% +28%
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, i9-9900K
27080 Points ∼67% +28%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H
21237 Points ∼52%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (18048 - 23032, n=19)
20658 Points ∼51% -3%
Aorus 15 X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H
20227 Points ∼50% -5%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ
18219 Points ∼45% -14%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
18153 Points ∼45% -15%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
16010 Points ∼39% -25%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-8750H
15731 Points ∼39% -26%
Asus Strix GL504GM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H
11829 Points ∼29% -44%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, i9-9900K
17290 Points ∼76% +50%
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), R7 2700X
13883 Points ∼61% +20%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (9212 - 14894, n=20)
11726 Points ∼52% +1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H
11561 Points ∼51%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
11407 Points ∼50% -1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
10945 Points ∼48% -5%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
10749 Points ∼48% -7%
Asus Strix GL504GM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H
9352 Points ∼41% -19%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-8750H
9099 Points ∼40% -21%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ
8935 Points ∼40% -23%
Aorus 15 X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H
8716 Points ∼39% -25%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), R7 2700X
39651 Points ∼78% +37%
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, i9-9900K
38485 Points ∼75% +33%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H
28997 Points ∼57%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (23386 - 30910, n=20)
27852 Points ∼54% -4%
Aorus 15 X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H
26645 Points ∼52% -8%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ
23540 Points ∼46% -19%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
22723 Points ∼44% -22%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
20573 Points ∼40% -29%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-8750H
20157 Points ∼39% -30%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
18296 Points ∼36% -37%
Asus Strix GL504GM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H
14476 Points ∼28% -50%
3DMark 11 Performance
21324 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
32978 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
17774 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
7688 points
Help
The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile
101.1 fps ∼100% +26%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
80.3 fps ∼79%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (65.7 - 92.7, n=22)
79.2 fps ∼78% -1%
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Core i9-8950HK, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Mobile
76.7 fps ∼76% -4%
Aorus 15 X9
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile
71.8 fps ∼71% -11%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
68.9 fps ∼68% -14%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
61.9 fps ∼61% -23%
MSI GL73 8SE-010US
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
55.1 fps ∼55% -31%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
49.2 fps ∼49% -39%
Asus Strix GL504GM
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
37.5 fps ∼37% -53%
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
30 fps ∼30% -63%
Asus TUF FX505DY
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, AMD Radeon RX 560X (Laptop)
22.7 fps ∼22% -72%
Asus FX504GD
Intel Core i5-8300H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile
22.2 fps ∼22% -72%
01020304050607080Tooltip
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8: Ø72.3 (68-77)
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 276.8 246.7 232.3 166 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 263.4 215.2 142 80.3 fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 215 163.6 146.5 124 fps

Emissions

System Noise

System noise profile
System noise profile

The cooling solution consists of two 12 V fans, five heat pipes, and four heat sinks. Fan noise remains the same as on last year's GX531GS. The twin fans are quiet when set to Silent Mode even though they are never truly idle. When set to Turbo Mode, expect a base fan noise of 38 dB(A) even when no applications are running.

Fan noise becomes more complicated when gaming as it depends on the Armoury Crate performance setting. When set to Balanced Mode, for example, fan noise when running Witcher 3 remains steady 51.7 dB(A). In contrast, fan noise when gaming in Turbo Mode is much louder at 56.6 dB(A). Users who want the full performance of the laptop must choose the louder option. Competing laptops like the Blade 15 and MSI GS65 are able to run much quieter.

Fan pulsing behavior still occurs even in Silent Mode, but it is thankfully minor and not often enough to be distracting. We can notice some slight coil whine on our test unit that's also very minor and of no concern during regular use.

Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
Aorus 15 X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Asus Strix GL504GM
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Asus Zephyrus GX501
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, i7-7700HQ, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
Noise
-0%
8%
13%
7%
5%
-4%
off / environment *
28.7
28.2
2%
28.6
-0%
28.8
-0%
28.5
1%
31
-8%
29
-1%
Idle Minimum *
29.8
32.6
-9%
28.6
4%
28.8
3%
30
-1%
32
-7%
33
-11%
Idle Average *
32.4
32.7
-1%
28.6
12%
28.8
11%
30
7%
33
-2%
34
-5%
Idle Maximum *
38
32.7
14%
28.6
25%
29.4
23%
30
21%
34
11%
40
-5%
Load Average *
38.2
38.9
-2%
40.8
-7%
35.7
7%
41.8
-9%
39
-2%
47
-23%
Witcher 3 ultra *
56.6
51.8
8%
49.6
12%
42.5
25%
47.6
16%
42
26%
51
10%
Load Maximum *
56.6
64.1
-13%
49.6
12%
45
20%
50
12%
46
19%
53
6%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
29.8 / 32.4 / 38 dB(A)
Load
38.2 / 56.6 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.7 dB(A)

Temperature

Four sets of exhaust vents
Four sets of exhaust vents

The keyboard will always be cooler than the rest of the laptop because of its unique positioning. On most other laptops, the fans and heat pipes would be directly underneath the keyboard instead for warmer keys when gaming.

When running Witcher 3, surface temperatures can become as warm as 46 C to 49 C. These hot spots are fortunately nowhere near the keyboard keys. In comparison, the keyboard on the Razer Blade 15 can be as warm as 42 C when under high processing stress.

Be sure to not place any books or papers on top of the fans when gaming or airflow will be impeded.

System idle (top)
System idle (top)
System idle (bottom)
System idle (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Maximum stress (bottom)
Maximum stress (bottom)
Maximum stress (top)
Maximum stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)

Stress Test

We stress the system with synthetic loads to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. When running Prime95, CPU clock rates will be as high as 3.9 GHz for the first few seconds before reaching a core temperature of 95 C. Thereafter, clock rates drop to 2.9 GHz before rising again to stabilize at 3.2 to 3.3 GHz. This behavior reflects our CineBench R15 loop test above where the processor is fastest only during the initial loop before dropping and stabilizing in subsequent loops. The laptop is unable to maintain its maximum Turbo Boost clock rate of 3.9 GHz indefinitely, but that is perhaps to be expected from an ultra-thin design.

Running Witcher 3 is more representative of real-world gaming loads. The CPU and GPU stabilize at 76 C and 66 C, respectively, which are respectable numbers considering the form factor and demanding processors inside. The Razer Blade 15 with weaker RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics runs warmer at 74 C to 80 C when subjected to the same Witcher 3 load.

Running on batteries will reduce performance. A Fire Strike run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of only 8067 and 6004 points, respectively, compared to 16136 and 21237 points when on mains.

System idle
System idle
Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
System Idle -- -- 50 48
Prime95 Stress 3.3 - 3.4 -- 81 --
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 2.9 1095 80 68
Witcher 3 Stress 3.9 1315 76 66
Max. Load
 44 °C
111 F
47 °C
117 F
41 °C
106 F
 
 37.6 °C
100 F
44 °C
111 F
35.8 °C
96 F
 
 31.6 °C
89 F
32.8 °C
91 F
31 °C
88 F
 
Maximum: 47 °C = 117 F
Average: 38.3 °C = 101 F
34.4 °C
94 F
43 °C
109 F
37 °C
99 F
42 °C
108 F
48.6 °C
119 F
43.4 °C
110 F
34.8 °C
95 F
40 °C
104 F
38.2 °C
101 F
Maximum: 48.6 °C = 119 F
Average: 40.2 °C = 104 F
Power Supply (max.)  44 °C = 111 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 38.3 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 33.3 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 47 °C / 117 F, compared to the average of 39.8 °C / 104 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 48.6 °C / 119 F, compared to the average of 42.5 °C / 109 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27.1 °C / 81 F, compared to the device average of 33.3 °C / 92 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 38.1 °C / 101 F, compared to the device average of 33.3 °C / 92 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (33.4 °C / 92.1 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-4.6 °C / -8.3 F).

Speakers

Pink noise at maximum volume
Pink noise at maximum volume

The 2 W stereo speakers are decent with balanced mid and high tones considering the thinness of the chassis. Roll-off occurs at around 250 Hz as is common on most laptops. Perhaps a dedicated subwoofer would have improved bass reproduction.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2040.540.52538.139.53136.237.34038.135.85036.835.96338.436.58034.635.710034.234.812532.138.516032.750.520031.959.525030.865.731530.466.840030.363.750029.364.863029.462.980028.866100029.165.2125028.468.5160028.469.4200028.368.2250028.470315028.170.8400027.973500027.969.163002862.7800027.855.21000030.360.41250027.7671600027.565.5SPL40.780.5N449.2median 28.8median 65.5Delta1.2435.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAsus Zephyrus S GX531GXApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (73.03 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 13.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.6% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 40% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 51% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 20% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 76% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

When gaming, the GX531GX draws 168 W compared to 148 W on the last generation GX501. This represents a 14 percent increase in power consumption for a 17 to 45 percent increase in graphics performance to suggest higher performance-per-Watt overall.

The maximum consumption we're able to record is 215 W from the medium-sized (~16.5 x 7.5 x 3.3 cm) 230 W AC adapter when running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously.

When running only Prime95, power consumption spikes to 178 W for the first few seconds before dropping and stabilizing at about 143 W as shown by our graph below. The results are in line with what we observed on the CineBench R15 loop stress test above regarding clock rates and performance when under high CPU stress.

Constant power consumption when running 3DMark 06
Constant power consumption when running 3DMark 06
Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. Consumption spikes for about 30 seconds before sharply dropping thereafter
Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. Consumption spikes for about 30 seconds before sharply dropping thereafter
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.37 / 0.98 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 16.1 / 20.9 / 27 Watt
Load midlight 93.4 / 215.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
i7-8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Aorus 15 X9
i7-8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
i7-8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Strix GL504GM
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Zephyrus GX501
i7-7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
-25%
-3%
22%
18%
-0%
Idle Minimum *
16.1
26
-61%
17
-6%
10.4
35%
10
38%
18
-12%
Idle Average *
20.9
30.8
-47%
20
4%
14.6
30%
16.9
19%
23
-10%
Idle Maximum *
27
34.9
-29%
29
-7%
16.3
40%
21.1
22%
31
-15%
Load Average *
93.4
90.7
3%
112
-20%
88.5
5%
112.4
-20%
79
15%
Witcher 3 ultra *
168.2
175
-4%
152
10%
155.4
8%
135.5
19%
148
12%
Load Maximum *
215.3
241.2
-12%
211
2%
182.4
15%
157.3
27%
196
9%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Internal battery capacity remains unchanged from the last generation GX501 series at 50 Wh. Competing 15.6-inch gaming laptops tend to have larger battery packs including the MSI GS65 and Razer Blade 15. Battery life is subsequently short on our Asus at only 3 hours of real-world WLAN use. Be sure to set the system to Balanced mode or lower to squeeze out longer runtimes if needed.

Charging from empty to full capacity takes about 1.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
3h 01min
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
i7-8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 50 Wh
Aorus 15 X9
i7-8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, 62 Wh
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 90 Wh
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
i7-8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 80 Wh
Asus Strix GL504GM
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, 66 Wh
Asus Zephyrus GX501
i7-7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 50 Wh
Battery Runtime
-48%
156%
114%
96%
-28%
Reader / Idle
105
627
682
188
WiFi v1.3
181
95
-48%
463
156%
387
114%
355
96%
130
-28%
Load
61
103
88
44

Pros

+ relatively cool core temperatures when gaming
+ high quality 144 Hz/3 ms IPS display
+ cool keyboard surface when gaming
+ four-zone RGB lighting
+ superthin design
+ strong hinges
+ Optimus

Cons

- only 1x storage bay and 1x SODIMM slot
- no Thunderbolt 3 or SD card reader
- loud fans even for a gaming laptop
- small battery; short runtimes
- no G-Sync or 4K UHD options
- soft keyboard feedback
- flexible lid

Verdict

In review: Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King
In review: Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King

The GX531 excels in a few key areas. Aside from being attractively thin with narrow bezels, core temperatures are cooler than we were anticipating when gaming and the display itself is a huge improvement over the GX501 display where ghosting was very noticeable. Of course, the unique design of the chassis means uncomfortably warm keys will never be an issue. Users can expect 17 to 45 percent better gaming performance from the RTX 2080 Max-Q when compared to the GTX 1080 Max-Q.

There is still a lot of room for improvement. The display chin is very large and fan noise is louder than on competitors including the MSI GS65 or Razer Blade 15. Running the laptop on Turbo Mode with fans at maximum is required to get the most performance out of the laptop as running it on Balanced Mode will incur a 10 percent performance penalty. These power settings must be toggled via the Armoury Crate app as they operate independently from the standard Windows power profiles.

Other missing features include RJ-45, SD card reader, per-key RGB lighting, and Thunderbolt 3 which we believe should be standard on flagship gaming laptops reaching north of $2500 USD. Gaming enthusiasts may prefer to have G-Sync in lieu of Optimus since battery life here is already average at best even with graphics switching available. The thin profile also excludes any internal secondary storage options which may be a problem for users with large gaming libraries.

Because of the drawbacks of the GX531, we recommend users take a look at the Asus ROG GL504 series instead. We find it to be better balanced with firmer keyboard keys, stronger lid, more storage options, more ports, and a larger trackpad. It even shares the exact same IPS panel as the GX531. It's a thicker alternative, but we find its long list of handy features to be well worth it.

A significant upgrade over the old GX501 in terms of performance, weight, thickness, and appearance. The GX531 is Asus' most visually stunning 15.6-inch gaming laptop to date, but it had to sacrifice some useful features to reach such a thin and light form factor.

Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX - 09/20/2019 v7
Allen Ngo

Chassis
82 / 98 → 84%
Keyboard
77%
Pointing Device
72%
Connectivity
52 / 80 → 65%
Weight
62 / 10-66 → 94%
Battery
52 / 95 → 55%
Display
88%
Games Performance
94%
Application Performance
89%
Temperature
85 / 95 → 90%
Noise
70 / 90 → 77%
Audio
65%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
71%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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